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Things to Do in December 2021
Photograph: Steve Beech / Shutterstock

London events in December

Your guide to the best activities, events and fun stuff happening in London throughout December 2023

Rosie Hewitson
Written by
Rosie Hewitson

Can you hear those sleigh bells jingling? Yes, it’s December, and Christmas in London has begun in earnest. See the city skies sparkling with glimmering Christmas lights, fill your ears with Christmas songs, scoff down an indulgent Christmas sandwich, get luxurious festive treats from London restaurants and liven up a winter walk with a trip to a heated pub garden.

Read our guide for the lowdown on the events, parties, cultural happenings, and things to do taking place in London in December 2023.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

Our December 2023 highlights

  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Charing Cross Road

The West End has played host to a Harry Potter sequel for years now – so why not a ‘Stranger Things’ prequel, eh? The play is a return to the show’s setting of Hawkins, Indiana, but in 1959 (as opposed to the ’80s). That means we can see some familiar faces in their youths: expect to meet teen versions of Jim Hopper, Bob Newby and Joyce Byers, plus – most intriguingly – Henry Creel, the psychic teen who goes on to become the show’s terrifying antagonist Vecna. 

  • Things to do

Even if you think Christmas is a load of consumerist claptrap, you can’t deny that London looks a whole lot better when it’s hung with strings of glistening lights. And London is never in short supply of some thoroughly excellent festive light displays. From the classic angels that beam over Regent’s Street to the snazzy, themed displays over Carnaby Street, a trip to one of these gleaming streets will flutter the heart of even the most Scrooge-like of souls

  • Restaurants

It is cold, so cold. Head to the nearest cosy outdoor space in London immediately. Luckily, some of our favourite bars and restaurants have been thinking on their frozen feet. So wrap up warm and check out these new outdoor terraces for drinking and dining decked out in wintry decor and adorned with roaring fire pits, patio heaters and enough faux fur to make you think you got stuck in the wardrobe on your way into Narnia. 

  • Things to do
  • Ice skating

Ice skating season is back baby, and we can’t wait to whizz around one of London’s many excellent slabs of ice. Winter Wonderland’s rink is the biggest, Canary Wharf’s is open for the longest period (18 sweet weeks!) and Somerset House’s is the most fabulous. Take your pick, lace up your boots and get swishing.



Grab last minute presents at London’s best Christmas markets
  • Shopping
  • Markets and fairs

Markets, eh? They’re pretty nice to wander around at nearly every time of year. But, at Christmas? Well, that’s when London’s markets really come into their own. Every year the capital fills with the kind of markets that host fairy-light-lined stalls, festive street-food sellers and community tombolas, with a playlist of Christmas songs on loop in the background. In fact, whether you’re looking for tasty treats, traditional decorations and cutting-edge arts and crafts or are just shopping for a last-minute present, the capital’s selection of Yuletide stalls are here to help. 

  • Things to do

New Year’s Eve in London means you’re faced with some choices. Sometimes there’s so much choice, in fact, that you end up spending the night indoors with a few loved ones and plenty of booze. We’ve all been there, but London boasts loads of great New Year’s Eve events that should coax even the most reluctant NYE fan out of the house this year. 


  • Music
  • Classical and opera

An evening of proper Christmas carols is an absolute must if you’re interested in getting entirely wrapped up in unalloyed festive cheer. Check out our comprehensive round-up of the jolliest and most moving services in the capital. Indoors and outdoors, cathedrals, churches and secular spaces, we’ll be adding to it constantly, as more events are announced. 

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